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Week 2: More on Wide Reading

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Last updated by Breda Matthews

Hi everyone,

    Last week we discussed graded readers - thank you Athlyn for the conversation and the link to the Extensive Reading Foundation finalists.


In an off-line conversation I was asked about assessing the suitability of texts for the wide reading standards, in particular, the Level 3 standard 31008. 


There are two issues here. The first is that the intention of this standard is that the texts are that texts are read independently - see the title of the standard. However the Guidance Information also states that 


8. For this unit standard:

i candidates may be supported in their choice of texts;


This indicates to me that texts should be selected by the student and not the teacher (I assume that doesn’t preclude having a box of texts at the appropriate level available for students).  If you have a different understanding of this I would love to hear from you.


So what about the level of the text? Students might select a text that is challenging but my personal view is that they should be allowed to do so. However teachers do need to intervene if the text is too easy for the level of the standard. 


The Guidance Information provides us with help here too. In the case of us 31008


8. For this unit standard:

ii      texts must be guided by the first 2000 words of New General Service List.


The clarifications on the NZQA EL page also provide more detail.


Abridged versions of extended written texts could include graded readers used in an extensive reading programme. These are graded by vocabulary level. Readers with a vocabulary level of around 1800 – 2100 headwords would be appropriate for this level 3 standard. See the Graded Reader Equivalence Chart on the Extensive Reading Foundation website for guidance.


This means that most of the words will be within the first 2000 high frequency words. However, it is expected that texts will also include topic-specific vocabulary and fiction will include many proper nouns. Assessors may find the NGSL Vocabulary Profiler or English Profile Text Inspector tools useful for analysing the vocabulary level of texts to confirm suitability.


My opinion is that,  if it is above that level and the student wants to read it, that’s great. If the text is below the 2000 word level, we need to let the student know that it is not suitable.



TESOLANZ in partnership with the University of Auckland's School of Education and Social Work and IELTS/IDP, presents an assessment event) Focus on Assessment: Practical applications and considerations in the classroom 

When: February 13, 2021 - 9am-5pm Where: University of Auckland, Epsom Campus

Assessment Workshop Registration (members log in before making your purchase)


Ministry of Education ZOOM event: English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) funding application professional support – Zoom information sessions. The Ministry of Education ESOL team will be hosting two optional Zoom sessions explaining how to apply for ESOL funding. The 45 minute sessions will begin with a step by step explanation of how to apply for ESOL funding followed by an opportunity for Q & As. These sessions are targeted at those who are new to the role of applying for ESOL funding, or those who would like a refresher. Those who are familiar with the ESOL funding process do not need to attend.

The Zoom sessions will be held:

3:30 – 4:15pm, Wednesday 17th February 2021. The Zoom link for this session is: https://moenz.zoom.us/j/82509184371?pwd=VzNpUkxFY0pSZHV2VnJkRlJ6eHdWUT09

3:30 – 4:15pm, Thursday 18th February 2021. The Zoom link for this session is:  https://moenz.zoom.us/j/82308301706?pwd=bGUwTVpkMnRERlFueFZ4T1d4eDhTUT09

You only need to attend one of the two sessions, as both sessions will cover the same information.


This is an open invite and anyone is welcome to attend. Please pass on the details to colleagues who may be interested.You do not need to register for these sessions. If you are interested in attending, we recommend you block out the time in your calendar as a reminder. Please join the Zoom link to the session you wish to attend at the time specified above.


Chinese New Year/Lunar New Year 11th - 26th February - The Year of the Ox

People from China, Korea, Vietnam, Laos, Singapore and other Asian countries celebrate the Lunar New Year as a national holiday. Customs and traditions differ between countries, but the dates of celebration are similar because many countries in Asia interpret the lunar calendar the same way.  This could be linked to our new national holiday!


The following pages have links and ideas to use


On other communities

Thanks to Janet on Primary ESOL Online for some of the Chinese New Year links.


Have a great week everyone.



Breda Matthews

Facilitator: Secondary ESOL community 


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